How to Raise Money With a Charity Golf Tournament (+ Free Checklist)

Golf tournaments can be excellent money-makers for your nonprofit. A successful golf tournament can raise $5,000 to $100,000 in revenue. They can also be pretty simple to run. In this article, we’ve included the steps to follow and unique ideas to help you run a successful golf tournament of your own.

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How to Raise Money With a Charity Golf Tournament (+ Free Checklist)

charity golf tournament

Your donor base will always enjoy some tried and true events. After over a year of being trapped inside, people are dying to get outside and enjoy a typical summer fundraising event. Charity golf outings work for every size of nonprofit. Organizations can raise money through registration fees or tickets, sponsorships, games, etc.

This article provides details on golf tournament fundraiser types and lists different ways to raise funds with charity golf tournaments.

  1. 4 Types of Golf Tournaments Your Charity Should Host
  2. 7 Best Ways to Raise Money With a Charity Golf Tournament
  3. Downloadable Checklist for a Charity Golf Tournament

4 Types of Charity Golf Tournaments You Should Host

Charity golf events remain one of the most popular ways to raise funds for charities of every size. There are several different types of golf tournaments.

If your organization has never held charity events before, it’s important to choose the type that fits your donor base.

1. Scramble

Scrambles are a common golf fundraiser type. It’s also an excellent way to encourage beginning and intermediate golfers to join the game. Players in Scramble games all shoot their first drive from the same tee. The best hit determines where the rest of the game starts. This way, everyone starts at the same level.

For example, the Helen James Foundation held a four-man scramble golf tournament in 2021 to help and support people with infertility. Check out their fundraising page for more insights into the golf fundraiser.

charity golf tournament

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2. Stroke play

Stroke play is just like a regular golf game. Players are scored based on the number of strokes they take on each hole. Stroke games are the best option for well-versed golf players, but beginners may find this daunting.

If your organization does not have a large group of donors that play golf, Stroke games are probably not the best option.

3. Match play

Match play is similar to Stroke, but teams score together when they play instead of as individuals. Expert golfers can have fun, but less experienced players will have a chance if others on their team are better golf players.

4. Best ball

With Best Ball, each player plays the whole round, and scores are based on the best score. Handicaps are also available during a Best ball game, so once again, beginners have a better chance to win and have more fun.

7 Best Ways to Raise Money With a Charity Golf Fundraiser

1. Sponsorships

Nonprofits can find sponsorships to fund the entire event in exchange for the company name attached to the event. Sponsors may also choose to pay for food and alcohol. Drinks are a big part of golf tournaments, so finding a sponsor to fund this cost greatly benefits smaller nonprofits.

Hole sponsorships are available on every hole, usually for $200 – $300 each. If your course has 18 holes, at $200 each hole, your organization could raise $3,600.

You can also offer hole sponsorships at the practice green and have one or two prize holes. Some of the more popular prize hole options include:

  • Long drive
  • Hole-in-one
  • Closest to the pin
  • Beat the pro
  • Putting contest

Nonprofits can charge $500 or more for these sponsorship packages since players spend more time at these holes.

2. Registration and ticket sales

Player registration is another primary way to raise money with a golf tournament. Golf tournament tickets can be for the game alone or the game and lunch or dinner. A golf fundraiser that includes a meal will bring in more revenue.

Golf fundraisers are an excellent way for donors to spend time with friends and support their favorite charity. Nonprofits must choose between single-player or foursomes for course tickets. Foursomes are often more expensive and a better fit for players who love golf. This decision should be based on your donor base and why they’re interested in joining the golf tournament.

A mixed play is another option for nonprofits that may bring in a larger audience. You can offer the entire game to foursomes and another competition on a few prize holes and the putting green for players who’d like to support the organization but don’t have much interest in golf.

Here’s an example of a nonprofit using the Donorbox-hosted free fundraising page as their golf tournament registration page.

charity golf tournament

However, if you’re willing to sell tickets, Donorbox offers its Events feature. It’s more apt for charity events and simple to set up. You can add the event description, images or videos, and a simple ticketing form with unlimited ticket levels. You can determine the tax-deductible values of tickets by inputting the fair market value and the tax rate. Your purchasers will receive the ticket and the receipt by email automatically. Thereafter, you can easily manage sold tickets and purchasers’ information at the backend. And the best part is you can also accept donations from the event ticketing form. Here’s a great example

charity golf tournament

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3. Live or silent auctions

Most nonprofit golf tournaments that include a meal will have a live or silent auction. Players expect this, so make sure your auction items fit the golf crowd. Some of the most successful items for a golf outing auction are:

  • Foursomes at a private club
  • Golf clubs
  • Golf lessons

Most silent and live auctions offer the same prizes, so your organization can stand out if you have a little fun. If you have a theme, find a way to match your auction to the theme. Another creative idea is to auction caddies. Women golfers may have fun bidding on their husbands, local business leaders, and celebrities.

4. Raffles

Raffles are another easy way to raise money during a golf tournament. If you’re expecting a large crowd for the event, you can raise a significant amount with a 50/50 or reverse raffle.

Do remember to check your local and state laws before selling raffle tickets.

Check out this example of a charity golf fundraiser that has included a raffle, as well as raffle entry amounts, to their donation form.

charity golf tournament

5. Drink tickets

Golf tournaments can take the whole day. In the summer, that means a lot of thirsty players. You can raise work with the golf course on ways to raise more funds by selling drinks on the course.

Donorbox Events helps charities easily create unlimited event ticket levels with tax-deductible values showcased under them. That will come in handy for selling your drink tickets. Add multiple ticket levels as per your pricing strategy. If you want any additional information from them regarding their preferences, etc., you have the option to do that. You can also encourage your purchasers to make donations right from the event ticketing form to help your charity raise more money for a good cause.

6. Fun add-ons

Why do golfers choose to play at golf fundraisers besides supporting charity? It’s fun! Golf tournaments are all about the games and prizes nonprofits add to the course.

Players can pay a small fee for each game. These fees add up and bring in a significant amount of your event budget.

6.1 Mulligans

Mulligans give players a do-over when they make a mistake. Mulligans generally cost $10 or more. Let your players buy as many mulligans as they want and enjoy the extra funds.

6.2 Beat the pro

Golf tournaments are competitions, and golfers can be very competitive. This is especially true if they’re competing with a professional. When booking a golf course for your tournament, ask if they have a pro who’d be willing to participate in the tournament.

Let players bet on whether they can get closer to the pin on a specific hole and watch the money come in.

6.3 Marshmallow drive

Marshmallow drives are another fun way to encourage more non-golfer participation and raise funds for your organization. Bring a bag of marshmallows and charge players to hit a drive. The player who hits their marshmallow the farthest will win the prize.

6.4 Putting green

Players appreciate any chance to practice before the game. Golfers are always willing to pay a small fee to practice and get closer to the hole. Charge $5 for each golfer for a chance to practice their putt and entrance into the putting contest.

Your nonprofit must have a prize for these players, so find a sponsor willing to share an in-kind gift. The below example can be a great inspiration for your golf fundraiser. Check out its donation form that includes a sponsorship level for putting green contest.

charity golf tournament

7. Donation appeals

Let’s face it. Golf outings involve a lot of waiting around. Your nonprofit can take advantage of players’ boredom and post giving opportunities across the course.

Nonprofits now have a host of online donation options to entice donors.

7.1 Text giving options

Text giving is simple. Whenever your players are free, educate them on this simple and fast way of making a donation to help your charity. All they have to do is send a text to a number and receive a donation page link where they can go and make a donation.

With Donorbox Text-to-Give, it’s even simpler. You will get a texting number and a unique campaign ID (there’s also a shortcode plan with a simpler number and a custom keyword). Ask your donors to text the ID to the number. They’ll receive a link to your mobile-friendly fundraising page on Donorbox. Next time, when they want to repeat the donation, it’s even simpler – they can just send a keyword to the same number, and there’ll be no need to go to the page again.

golf tournament for charity

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7.2 QR codes

Put up QR codes that link to your fundraising page all across the golf course. It’s the most convenient way to encourage people, especially the younger ones, to make a donation. And it’s easier, too. All they have to do is scan the code and make a donation to your online donation form.

With Donorbox, you get a free QR code with every online campaign you create. Simply download, print, and paste it across your event venue. Let people know what the QR code is about and how the smallest donation can help you bring a better change to the world.

Here’s a good example of a website that includes the free Donorbox QR code linking to its crowdfunding campaign. Website visitors can scan it on their phones to open the donation page and make a donation. Simple as it sounds! You can add one to your golf tournament event venue to make it easier for attendees and players to give.

7.3 Peer-to-peer and crowdfunding campaigns

You can raise money for your golf event using a crowdfunding campaign. It’s a great way to reach out to more people than just your immediate network. The shareability of these campaigns ensures that you can reach your fundraising goal in a short span of time. For example, the below campaign is helping the charity quickly and successfully raise $25000 for their gold marathon.

golf tournament charity

Now, crowdfunding doesn’t have to be the only way for you to meet your fundraising event goals. Turn this campaign into a peer-to-peer one and invite some of your best players and supporters to fundraise for you. If each can get you $500, then imagine how much you can raise overall!

For example, players can challenge themselves and collect funds based on the number of holes played or the time it takes to play. Peer-to-peer campaigns allow nonprofits to raise funds with in-person or virtual golf fundraising events.

A significant benefit of holding your golf outing online or virtual is that you don’t have to rent golf courses to raise funds. Donors can raise funds on a weekly golf outing with friends or even visit the golf range.

With Donorbox, nonprofits can invite supporters to create their own peer-to-peer campaign pages. They’ll receive email invitations from Donorbox and will be guided on the tool to create and customize their pages. After that, they can begin to raise funds for you and all the donations will be credited to your parent campaign.

Free Downloadable Checklist for Charity Golf Tournament

We’ve prepared a downloadable golf tournament fundraiser checklist that your charity can use and start planning for the event 9 months in advance.

Click here to download the charity golf tournament fundraiser checklist.

golf tournament fundraiser checklist


Donors and nonprofits love golf events. Organizations raise an average of five thousand dollars with one golf tournament. Thanks to technology advancements, an organization, third-party group, or individual supporters can hold these golf outings.

Donorbox provides nonprofits with numerous ways to raise funds during their golf outings. Whether you’re looking to raise funds through selling tickets, online donations, crowdfunding, or peer-to-peer fundraising, we give every organization an opportunity to raise more money online. Our features are simple to use and you can sign up for free with no monthly contracts. Learn about all our features here.

Your next golf tournament can be the best opportunity for your charity to reach its full donation potential. Check out Donorbox Premium – get an expert coach who will guide you through the whole process to ensure you meet your fundraising goals and establish great relationships with donors, a dedicated account manager, high-powered add-ons, and tech wizards! The pricing will be personalized for your charity. Get in touch with our sales team now!

Read more insightful articles, fundraising ideas and tips, and donor management resources on the Donorbox Nonprofit Blog. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a handpicked list of our best resources (blogs, webinars, podcast episodes, and more) in your inbox every month.

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Kristine Ensor is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience working with local and international nonprofits. As a nonprofit professional she has specialized in fundraising, marketing, event planning, volunteer management, and board development.

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